Psystar releases 'build your own Hackintosh' kit

Psystar releases 'build your own Hackintosh' kit

Summary: Psystar, the company that's been making headlines for selling Mac-clone systems, has now released a 'build your own Hackintosh' kit.

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Psystar, the company that's been making headlines for selling Mac-clone systems, has now released a 'build your own Hackintosh' kit.

The kit, called Rebel EFI, allows PC users to transform their system into a Hackintosh or Mac-clone.

Psystar has decided to take Open Computing to its next level. Psystar's next step in helping to provide open computing for all will be to begin distributing our Rebel EFI software that will allow users to operating systems of their choosing, including OS X, on their computers.

The software is available for download on the here. After downloading, users simply insert a retail copy of the Snow Leopard DVD, follow the installation procedures and then install the application. The application automatically detects connected devices and downloads the appropriate drivers.

The software is available as a free download but is limited to two hours of run-time. If you want the full, unlimited version that will cost you $50. The purpose of the trial is to allow you to see if your system is compatible with the Rebel EFI setup.

This is bound to stir up trouble. Not only is Apple bound to see this negatively, but the open source community might also be annoyed too. There are some who claim that the Rebel EFI kit is nothing more than a repackaged and uncredited derivative of other open source projects, such as the Chameleon bootloader.

One thing that has to be said of Psystar is that it's a little company that doesn't give up.

Topics: Open Source, Apple, CXO, Operating Systems, Software, IT Employment

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53 comments
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  • there a few brain who will throw a fit big time

    Will nice i really wanna see what will happen
    on the legal side .

    but its a bit too late how many people already
    have the appz ....

    Well like many people ask for so long osx on
    any machine .... As long as Apple will keep on
    refusing people will find a way to hack it ...
    someday they will get the message
    Quebec-french
    • And would you trust the hacked apps?

      Hackint0sh or whatever it's spelled out, I wouldn't trust its "developers". People do things out of self-interest. And if they can hack through an EFI and other things, it's not beyond comprehension they can subtly introduce keyloggers or other forms of malware too.

      Never mind officially compatible hardware, which isn't much...

      Apple needs to keep up the fight. Stealing property is a message that people need to understand too.
      HypnoToad72
      • Nobody is instigating theft.

        How can that be the case? Besides, Intel owns the patent on the EFI tech, not Apple. EFI is on other PCs besides mac.

        And Snow leopard isn't hacked. It's plain vanilla, off-the-shelf Apple OS X.

        The only people having any legal rights violated are those who wrote open source code that may be incorporated in the Rebel EFI software. Apple's claim that the EULA is being violated has yet to be proven.

        If the end user purchases OS X, who is damaged? I'm thinking it must be you and other Apple fans who feelings are hurt over their exclusivity being trifled with. Well get over it. It is just a trifle.
        djchandler
        • A Smidgen of Research

          There is a element of ip law regarding contributory infringement.

          I quote www.quizlaw.com:

          "Contributory infringement occurs where someone knows that
          infringing activity is taking place and either induces it, causes it, or
          materially contributes to it. "

          It is Apple's contention that its terms of use, as expressed in its EULA,
          is that using its operating system on non-Apple hardware is an
          infringement and a breach of contract.

          As a non-lawyer, I express no opinion as to whether Apple is correct
          or Psystar has engaged in actionable activities.

          Here is my opinion: if there were a large number of people who, in
          order to save money, were willing to follow operating system
          installation instructions so as to have an os that doesn't run their
          software, Linux would have been huge years ago. You may take that
          as my kibbutz on Psystar's business model.
          DannyO_0x98
          • Well you should get the correct quote from the APPLE EULA.

            It states it is for Apple Labeled (what labeled means is really open for interpretation)
            mrlinux
        • Theft

          Snow Leopard is being sold as an upgrade to an existing OS-X installation. It is not being sold for use on a machine with no OS. Installing it on a machine where it is not an upgrade to an Apple OS is therefore illegal. It is the equivalent of purchasing Windows 7 upgrade software when you don't have a legal license of Windows XP or Vista to upgrade.
          boomchuck1
          • Snow Leopard is $29 and Clearly Labeled

            But the previous versions weren't labeled and were
            significantly more expensive. In fact, if you go back two or
            three versions, there used to be TWO versions for sale,
            one of which was an upgrade (implying that the other
            wasn't an upgrade version). I think Apple has finally CIA on
            the "upgrade" issue. I don't know why it took so long.
            daengbo
          • Then...

            Who is selling OS X without demanding proof or eligibility? Shouldn't Apple be going after them as well?
            djchandler
          • Not theft, but it is...

            A violation of Copyright law. Modifying someone else's copyrighted
            work, and selling it is not legal. It would be the same as selling copies
            of windows with the Activation and WGA disabled. Then modifying the
            windows update to a different site to get updates and patches.
            Crapstar has also admitted they install OS X from an image file (like
            any other windows OEM). If you follow Adrain's link, you will find that
            Crapstar makes the following claim:

            http://store.psystar.com/rebel_efi

            [i][b]Safe Update Our Safe Update tool screens and approves software
            updates available from Apple.[/b] Safe Update also allows for the
            detection and acquisition of the most up-to-date hardware profiles
            available from Psystar.[/i]

            The bold text indicates that the Apple updates will come from
            Crapstar, not Apple. So any copy of OS X installed using this method is
            not an original copy of OS X but a modified version.
            Rick_K
          • Where does it say modified?

            I certainly didn't read that. What it does say is that Apple updates are screened first by Psystar. They're making sure the genuine Apple software doesn't brick the genuine Psystar hardware.

            The assertion that copyrighted software is being modified is fallacious. It's been possible to run unmodified OS X using the open source Darwin-based boot loader for quite some time now.

            What I don't understand is why you don't want someone to enjoy OS X on hardware beyond, dare I say better, than what Apple sells. I don't want anything less than a quad-core anymore, and you shouldn't have to settle for lower performance hardware just to have an Apple logo on it.
            djchandler
          • Read what it says again.

            From what it says, you will be getting updates from Psystar (Crapstar),
            not Apple. So they are not official Apple updates. Again this is no
            different than someone selling a way to disable windows activation,
            WGA, and redirecting windows updates. It is not about running OIS X
            on cheap generic hardware. It about a company taking property
            created by another company, modifying it and selling it. I believe this
            is called derivative work, which is covered under the Copyright laws.
            Crapstar has admitted that they install OS X via imaging software, not
            by installing using the OS X disks, which they have no license to do. So
            not only are they violating the Copyright law, but the license under
            which OS X is sold. I have read the documents from the case, and it
            does not look for Crapstar.

            Then you have the issue of brand dilution. Many people will not know
            that the computer is a generic box, sitting under the desk, and will
            blame any system issues on Apple. This can erode the hard earned
            reputation Apple has earned at a significant cost.

            I am also sure that many will try and seek relief from softrware
            problems from Apple. Apple has no desire to support other peoples
            hardware (computers), as the costs of support go way up. Windows is
            a perfect example of this. An OEM copy of vista can be bought for 20%
            to 40% of the retail cost. What the extra money goes to is the support
            costs. Microsoft has to pay the techs to support retail versions of
            windows, the OEMs have to provide support for the OEM versions. This
            is one of Microsoft biggest weaknesses, having to support such a vast
            list of hardware. It is not that windows is inherently bad, there is no
            way it can possibly support every imaginable hardware build and work
            flawlessly. Why would Apple want to attempt to do what Microsoft has
            been plagued by for over 20 years? Remember Apple is less than one
            tenth the size of Microsoft. Do you think they have the engineers to
            support. every possible hardware configuration?
            Rick_K
  • RE: LOL @ Apple and its stance.

    Especially given the light that Apple is being sued by Nokia for breach of a good number of its patents that the iPhone uses.

    What is good for the goose?

    Bozzer
  • RE: Psystar releases 'build your own Hackintosh' kit

    I can't understand why Apple would be so upset with this. If anything it would increase OS X sales. All they have to do is say they will sell you a copy of OS X and then strongly emphasize how it will not be supported in this configuration. Anyone using Rebel EFI probably wouldn't need the support anyway.
    Loverock Davidson
    • I can't believe I'm typing this, but...

      Lovey is right. This is revenue that Apple would never see otherwise. It's nothing but a <i>huge</i> plus for them.
      djchandler
      • Yes and no

        On the surface, yes, Loverock is right. Dig a little deeper though, and Apple is targeting the forest, not the trees.

        Regardless of our own anecdotal experiences and personal preferences and prejudices, what does the average user who owns a PC think about a Mac? "Macs are pretty, don't get viruses, never crash, and just work" will probably be the basic vibe you'll get. Apple keeps it that way by keeping a very tight grip on the hardware AND software. It's extremely unlikely that you'll get a beach ball of doom due to poorly written drivers if Apple is the one who writes and signs them. And when all of the user's friends say how wonderful their Mac is, it's because they're not just using the OS, they're using the vertical platform as a reference.

        Most of the people who read ZDNet are probably smart enough to know the following:
        1.) PCs have trillions of hw/sw configurations.
        2.) OS's require drivers written for them in order to communicate with the hardware.
        3.) Using a cobbled together set of drivers on an emulation layer for an OS that isn't designed to run on your hardware is unpredictable at best, and futile at worst.
        If you and I were to install OSX on our laptops, we'd know that it's going to be a challenge to get it to be stable and running smoothly. We know that we might have to make do with generic video drivers and a nonfunctional Bluetooth chipset.

        But what about the average person? If the average person were to try OSX on my house-of-cards hackint0sh install, their impression is going to be "OSX is just as buggy and unstable as Windows, so why would I want to buy a $1,000 laptop when I can expect the same out of a $600 unit running Windows?" Next, OSX is priced for people who already own the hardware. Is Jobs going to get up there and announce a new, more expensive SKU for Dell/HP/Sony owners? Who'd buy that, and who'd write drivers for it? And even if Mac wrote in big red letters across the front of the package "NO SUPPORT INCLUDED", people would still google the number and call for support, or make an appointment at a genius bar to get it.

        Increasing market share is a good thing for any company. But increasing market share at the expense of MINDSHARE, which Apple has sunk a stupidly huge amount of money on over the past decade (in both aesthetics, software design, and rote marketing) isn't going to do them more good than harm when their business model is largely dependent on hardware sales.

        Joey
        voyager529
        • RE:Yes and no

          ...Apple keeps it that way by keeping a very tight grip on the hardware AND software...

          And there you have the top two reasons why I do not own an Apple computer.
          joe6pack_z
          • What is meant by...

            [i]a very tight grip on the hardware AND software...[/i]

            Is simply the motherboard components, Apple still designs the
            motherboards, and chooses the list of components used to make
            these motherboards. It is not like they are taking generic
            motherboards and stuffing them in a box. Sure this is contrary to the
            myths spread on ZDNet, but the Anti-Apple crowd. But it is a fact. I
            can personally say this as I have opened a few different models and
            can see the difference. opened my MacBook Pro, a Dell Inspiron and a
            Sony Viao notebook. The three motherboards are all different, which
            means that each was designed by a different group.The MacBook Pro
            was also the only one of the three that used a 1067 MHz frontside
            buss. The same thing is present in the Mac Pro, it has a unique
            design. So those that claim it is just another generic box, do not have
            a clue as to what they are saying. While the system design does allow
            other Operating Systems to be run, it is not identical.
            Rick_K
      • No he's wrong ...

        The most obvious ways that it hurts Apple are brand dilution and loss of good will.

        Macs are not software or hardware, they are the specific bundle of software and hardware. Allowing non-Apple hardware to run OS X dilutes the Macintosh brand. What is a Mac? An Apple hardware/software bundle, or a Dell modified to run OS X?

        Furthermore there are bound to be compatibility issues (drivers, etc.) that will cause customers to blame OS X for their troubles. This will hurt Apple in terms of good will that they have built up with the public vis-a-vis consumer satisfaction.

        Both of these cause damage to Apple so you can expect the scope of the Psystar lawsuit to broaden to cover this software. I wouldn't be surprised to see a cease-and-desist order being issued tout de suite, forcing Psystar to pull the software from distribution.
        RationalGuy
        • Absolutely correct

          You're absolutely correct. "Brand dilution" is a very important part of trademark law.

          Years ago (a LOT of years ago) somebody started selling radio vacuum tubes under the name Rolls Royce. Rolls Royce sued them for trademark infringement. Their response was, "Rolls-Royce, Inc. makes cars. We make vacuum tubes. There is no reasonable way the public could confuse the two and think our tubes came from the car company."

          The court said that the reason the tube company chose the name Rolls-Royce was BECAUSE of the goodwill that the car company had created. So they were trying to get goodwill without paying for it. And if the tube company could use the name, other manufacturers could also. Ultimately, it would cheapen and dilute the value of the name, hurting the company that developed the name recognition.
          Rick_R
    • SO I am sure that...

      You would be perfectly okay with me releasing tools that bypass
      windows activation, WGA and modifies the windows update to a different
      site to receive the monthly patches? In essence this is what is happening.
      Users are being charged for a modified version of OS X. So is it ok to sell
      similar tools to crack windows? If not, why?
      Rick_K